Posted on July 4th, 2012
We had one such occasion this week when Mark Thomson contacted us to send us some information for his database profile so we thought we’d catch up and ask where he’s been hiding.
Portsmouth born Mark came into public consciousness in 2003 when he won the CIU National Singles beating Phill Nixon in the final before joining the PDC.
He was active on the PDC circuit between 2003 and 2007 where he chucked his Bob Anderson 19g arrers at the UK Open finals in Bolton five years running and played on the Circus Tavern stage in the 2005 PDC World Championship (where the picture to the right was taken), losing to Andy Hamilton in round one. This was a bitter-sweet high point in Mark’s career – “even though Andy ‘hammered’ me it is something all players want to achieve in their playing career”.
Posted on June 1st, 2012
We caught up with Jeff Smith shortly after his sponsorship deal with Cosmo Darts was announced. How does the 2012 Q School success story from Canada plan his assault on the predominantly UK based PDC Circuit?
Jeff Smith – The DartsMad interview
JS: I had every intention of coming home with a tour card. To get to play in 2 finals in 3 days was just the icing on the cake. Sunday I supported fellow North Americans Ken MacNeil and Shaun Narain. Also my roommate, and new found friend in Darren Webster.
DM: Having spent time with you that day, I detected a hint of emotion. I am correct? What did getting the tour card mean to you?
JS: In Canada we don’t get to play darts consistently at the PDC level. So to put so much money and effort into qualifying, it really seemed like I defied the odds. It’s hard not to show a little emotion on the biggest step of your career. And to have the majority of North America cheering you on was amazing.
DM: With the majority of events played here in the UK what are the logistical challenges you face? Presumably you have to carefully select the events you enter? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on December 9th, 2011
Part one of our interview with Mike Gregory can be found here.
DM: Lets talk about your best or favourite moment in your darting career, we may have covered it already with the News of The World?
MG: Well I won it the first time in ’87, that Christmas my Mum died and then when I was preparing for the next one a few months later my Dad died, it gave me some inspiration and I decided I was going to try and win it again for him, and I did….
MG: If I lose I lose, if have darts to win a game and I miss them, then I blame myself….I don’t think I’ve ever had a worst moment in darts no, and that includes the split. At that time it wasn’t just my decision. I sat down with my wife at the time and we thought about it and we decided that I couldn’t afford to gamble the roof over our kid’s heads.
DM: Yes, when you did switch back to the BDO was it at the same time as Chris Johns?
MG: No Chris actually went back before I did, and one day during one of my exhibitions my manager at the time turned up out the blue, and suggested I take legal advise about the writ. And not being disrespectful to the people I was with in the WDC at the time I wanted to find out for myself, so I went and met Olly Croft and his solicitors, the outcome being when I asked them to put it in plain English, was if we lost the court case I could have lost everything. At the end of the day I wasn’t in the same position as some of the others like John and Eric, who could afford to take the big bump. I had not been playing as long, and you obviously you have to live and I had a big mortgage.
DM: That year (1994), you were unable to play in either World Championship event, did that affect you at the time?
MG: No, I could understand it, I went over then I went back, even though I did qualify for the BDO one, they had already made the draw. There was nothing I could do about it….
DM: Obviously the big news in the BDO this year was the departure of Olly Croft, was this long overdue in your mind?
MG: Personally I think the PDC is doing very well and I would have liked to have seen a deal between the two, it would have lifted the BDO. There are a lot of old thoughts within the BDO and they need to bring it up to the standard of the PDC. I think they missed out by not doing a deal with Barry Hearn.
DM: Perhaps the BDO should concentrate on the amateur game and leave professional darts to the PDC?
MG: Martin Adams wouldn’t thank you for saying that…..
DM: Well it’s interesting that you mention Wolfie, his situation is obviously very different from yours, but do you subscribe to the theory that by staying in the BDO he has taken the soft option?
MG: I think he has been very clever being a big fish in a little pool with not so strong players, I’m not going to run him down because he has played well to win his World Championships, and it was inevitable that he was going to win it somewhere along the line, at the end of the day fair play to the bloke. I don’t think he could have done it in the PDC, the depth in the PDC is tremendous and not taking anything away from the other players, but unless Phil is having a bad day the rest of the field are playing for runner up spot.
DM: Prior to switching back to the BDO you had won and retained the first ever WDC event the Lada UK Masters, what did you think to the format of that tournament?
MG: I did enjoy that tournament actually, it was equal darts and it wasn’t necessarily the best player that won it was the bloke who hit the double at the end of the day, early. You could share or draw the leg whatever, I did like the format yeah, it was good.
DM: There’s a pattern to your career of winning things twice which proves it was no fluke!
MG: That’s right, I also won the bronze Bully twice!, and hold the highest score of 380 with 9 darts.
DM: We recently went to the Bullseye theatre tour in Derby which was a laugh, but there are calls to bring Bullseye back to prime time terrestrial TV, what are your thoughts on that?
MG: Well after I came back to the BDO we started doing the Embassy roadshow where I would travel round playing the county players, and after a couple of years Tony had the idea that we should bring in Bullseye. We did that for about 9 years which was really a Bullseye Roadshow. They were good shows and I was really busy I would do 250 nights for Bass, and 40 nights for the Embassy roadshow. It would be good to see it back on TV, they have tried it before but they really need Jim (Bowen), of course everyone has there own style of presenting but Jim was so good.
DM: Yes he’s a one off, and unfortunately not been well following a couple of strokes earlier this year, although I believe he is recovering well now, and obviously Tony (Green) has had health problems to….
MG: Oh dear, I hadn’t heard about Jim, but funnily enough Tony has just been in touch about me doing an exhibition in Westminster in December.
DM: So you obviously watch the PDC tournaments then, who do you like the look of in terms of the rest of the field as it were?
MG: I used to play at The Lamb in Clandown which is Steve Grubb’s pub, Gary used to come in and I have seen him play, and practised with him and he’s unreal. If he could sustain that he would be right on Phil’s heels. But he seems to go bang, bang, bang and then he goes to sleep and cant wake up. James (Wade) he’s up and down like a yo-yo, and again if he could keep a nice consistency he would be winning more, if he asked Phil nicely!
DM: We’ve seen Taylor experiment with glasses and other players having laser eye treatment, how has the eyesight held up over the years.
MG: Actually I was struggling a bit in dark venues to see the trebles, and about 4 or 5 months ago I went to SpecSavers, drew a dot on the wall, measured out at 7″9′ 1/4 etc and said I want some glasses so I can see that distance. And they made me some glasses, which I found a bit difficult at the beginning, all it is is just the lenses with no rim and a bit of wire on the side and an ear piece, and it doesn’t look like you have any on. And it is a hell of an improvement, I can see what I’m throwing at! I’m quite happy with them now.
MG: Believe it or not I hardly ever practised doubles, when I did I played like a wally! What I used to do was bang the treble twenty, and I got so consistent at it. And when you reach a certain level if you look at a double you should be able to hit it. With the drinking, I used to like to get to a certain point yes, but not go over it….and I did go up onto the Embassy stage once with two shandies, I’m glad I didn’t wear white trousers! that wasnt too good. But you have to try these things dont you, I’ve cut down quite a bit now though.
DM: Mike, it’s been a pleasure talking to you, could you end our interview by taking the DartsMad double 5?
MG: No problem.
Darts used? - 25g nickel tungsten
Favourite Double or Out shot? – Double top or 10′s
Favourite venue? – Lakeside
Favourite player past or present? – Leighton Rees
Who would your ideal partner be in a pro/celebrity tournament? – Engelbert Humperdinck (I’ve played against him in Vegas)
Favourite band/singer – Meatloaf/Queen
Favourite food – Indian/Chinese
Favourite drink – Soda Water
Jeremy Clarkson, perceptive or prat? – Perceptive
Favourite comedian – Jethro
For further information, more images/press cuttings and news on Mike’s exhibitions see the Paulton League website: http://www.paultondarts.co.uk/mike-gregory.php
Posted on November 20th, 2011
From the mid 80′s through to the early 90′s, Mike Gregory was one of the top ranked darts players, he qualified for Lakeside 13 times in a row (when eligible) and reached the quarter finals or better an incredible 7 times. DartsMad recently had the pleasure of chatting to Mike, part 1 of our interview is shown below:
MG: My partner of the last 10 years, she has a bad back and the last 2 or 3 years I’ve not been able to do anything as she has been waiting for an operation, if she had someone with her I could do 1 or 2 on a weekend. But things are ok now, she has I think one injection left and that should be it.
DM: So your looking to fill the diary up in anticipation of getting out more next year?
MG: That’s it, I’m not looking to to turn pro or anything again because its been a long time, but I do enjoy the exhibitions.
DM: Since leaving the pro circuit you have played in some capacity though?
MG: Yes I’ve played super league and county and entered a few local tournaments, but its been difficult with my partners health.
Posted on November 12th, 2011
Dennis Priestley Interview
We spoke to Dennis recently in respect of something to be featured on DartsMad at a later date, however the conversation turned to general darts chat so I took the opportunity to do a wee off the cuff interview.
DM: Is 2011 the end of the road for for your professional career, there was talk of things winding down last year I believe?
DP: Yes it’s the perfect year for winding down, to be honest I’ve not found it enjoyable, and it is starting to become a chore and hard work.
DM: But no official retirement date or announcement is planned though right?
DP: No the plan is to gradually wind it back, I’ll still be doing exhibitions and things like that but not all the travel and hard competition. Its all right for the lads in their 20′s and 30′s. I didn’t turn pro until I was 40, and it was easy then but 20 years of darts has taken it’s toll!
DM: You didn’t make the GSOD this year, is there any disappointment there?
DP: Having only competed once in the very first year, I cant really say that I’ll miss it. I’m not really a fan of the format to be honest, round robins can be manipulated as I found out when I did play.
DM: As the Slam kicks off at the weekend, do you have any insider tips for our readers?
DP: You have to look at the obvious candidates, start with Phil Taylor and work back from there.
DM: Do you think Scott Waites can retain it?
DP: I would be very shocked if he did, it would be nice for a Yorkshire lad to win it. I think he took everyone by suprise last year but I don’t think he will do it again.
DM: Will you be looking to get to the World Championship via the qualifier this year?
DP: Yes I shall have a go in Wigan, try and go out in a grand array at the World Championships.
DM: Good luck with that, we would really love to see you get to Ally Pally, but it’s not an easy route is it?
DP: No it’s not as I found out at the recent GSOD qualifier,with the number of entries being twice as much as a pro tour, by the time I had I had won my board of 16 I was cream crackered!
DM: We attended the Bullseye Theatre Tour last week in Derby, what do think to bringing Bully back, whether it be the theatre/TV whatever?
DP: I think it would be great entertainment, it’s something I would like to be involved in…… but I wasn’t asked!
DM: Maybe that’s because your still playing, perhaps in the future….presumably you are good friends with the likes of Bristow, Lowe and Anderson. So that type of thing, and exhibitions will be a big part of the future for you?
DP: Yeah to be honest I still enjoy that part of darts (exhibitions), people who have seen you on television get a chance to meet you in person and it’s quite an enjoyable event. It’s nice to go along and play a little bit, then mess about and entertain. You have to play it by ear you know which ones are serious and which ones are just there for the craic.
DM: So does the Menace have a signature trick shot that he brings out in exhibitions?
DP: Well you go for the double doubles etc, leave the 150 finishes. I have only done it twice but I have hit three bulls through a piece of paper which is a crowd pleaser.
DM: Nice! Looking back at your serious playing career, then is there any defining moments or events that you are most proud of.
DP: Obviously winning the Embassy gave me the opportunity to become a professional darts player, and a 20 year career. And then to be the first PDC World Champion, its always nice to be the first. And also the winner of both World Championships.
DM: Of the current crop of newer players do any stand out head and shoulders above the rest to you?
DP: Phil is still a notch above but there is a fairly even playing field below him, two nice fluent players are Lewis and Anderson when on song are very good players. But there’s others…..
DM: You have always been known as a steady player, but what do you think about Justin Pipe?
DP: Obviously he’s slower than I ever was, but he gets the job done and good luck to him. I spoke to him at the weekend and we were saying that it takes so much out of you playing the way we play, than the fluent players like Gary and Adrian. So its all about concentration and is a hell of a lot harder, Justin has the determination and is a lovely kid and I wish him all the best.
DM: Back to your own game, at the CLOD recently you had a decent run didn’t you?
DP: Yes that Crondon Park thing, I was very pleased and pleasantly surprised how I lasted the pace, I had a lot of 6-5 wins and ended up playing 94 legs that day. Which is too much for at 20 years old let alone 60 odd, I set off well in the finals winning the first 3 but then fatigue did eventually take over. It’s a shame I didn’t qualify a couple of days earlier or something like that, instead of on the last day with the finals the next.
DM: So what does the future hold for you post professional darts?
DP: I’m planning to fade into the sunset and enjoy my retirement!
DM: Would you consider coaching or anything like that?
DP: I would consider anything if the demand was there, even commentary or something like that. I’ve never been asked to do anything TV wise, I dont know if its down to the broad accent maybe.
DM: Well Sid Wadell has made a career out of exaggerating his regional accent hasn’t he! It would be a logical step and you have the experience to draw on. I hope some kind of offer does come along, there’s a few ex pro’s having a go at it…but if not just enjoy the retirement eh? Thanks very much for talking to us.
DP: Alreet bud, cheers – all the best……
Posted on August 19th, 2011
Edited 8th Nov 2011 – Scott Talks to DartsMad in the build up to the Grand Slam.
DM: Scott, with less than a week to go to the GSOD how is the defending Champ feeling, can you retain the title? When does work stop and the darts start?
SW: At the minute I’m a bit tired working and travelling to comps, and could have done with a couple of days off before the Grand Slam. I will be working all day Friday then driving down to Wolverhampton. 2hrs practice a night up to the Slam and the darts are going well so see what happens….
DM: Last time we spoke we established Wolfie as your Bogey player, you’ve since beaten him twice and gone on to win said tournaments, I’d like to say we motivated you! But it was nailed on really wasn’t it? Is there a feeling of relief, confidence?
SW: It was good to get past Wolfie and play proper darts against him for a change, I was more focused on the job in hand and prepared a little better and it seemed to work. Not sure it was nailed on but a win is a win, and I let him have the first set of the World Masters!
Tags: BDO Darts, Grand Slam of Darts, Interview, Scott Waites, Scott Waites Interview, Scott Waites move to PDC, Scotty 2 Hotty
Filed under BDO-WDF, Grand Slam of Darts, Interviews, Lakeside World Professional | Comments Off
Posted on July 15th, 2011
DM: So you are currently back on the road again doing the exhibition circuit?
AWL: Yes had a couple of years off, but the thinking behind the exhibitions is to get playing and practising again, then review it in 6 months time see how I have progressed and see if I feel in my own mind I have the game to play some of the circuit events.
DM: What can punters expect from an evening with the Iceman? And are there any dates yet that we should put in our diaries?
AWL: I leave it till when I get there, when I know what kind of players they are and what they are expecting. They all know you can play darts so often they are looking for something different, so I might throw off a stool, hit a double covered with paper, on my knees off a tray into the bull etc. Which may only come off 2 out of every 5 times but when it does people are like ‘bloody hell did you see that’. Then when they go to work in the morning they have something to talk about. At the end of the day it’s an exhibition not an event. It’s all about fun and mingling with people. People want to meet players and stand at the bar and share a drink and a joke etc. I’m happy when people walk out the door at the end of the night with a smile on their face, although some people do just want to play against the pro and try to win! Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on July 7th, 2011
Here at Dartsmad we like to pick up on the more unusual stories from the world of darts, therefore when a local member representing the Labour party in Birmingham’s Quinton Ward appeared in the Birmingham Evening Mail publicising his POD Brum campaign (more on that later), we contacted him directly to glean some more information.
(Photo – Birmingham Evening Mail)
DM: John firstly although the labour party has its roots in the working class, the thought of Councillors playing darts has never crossed my mind, are you alone in your passion for darts amongst your Councillor peers?
JC: No – the coverage in the press has smoked them out and they’re very supportive.
DM: I understand that you have been playing for a number of years, would you class yourself as a good player? Do you practise much or is it all about the social aspect of a match night? And do you follow the professional game?
JC: Sorry to disappoint DartsMad, but my political commitments have taken up most of my free time over the last 20 years or so and while I love to play darts to wind down and socialise, I’ve never been able to give the commitment to team darts. Nevertheless, I know I can hold my own at the oche. I don’t rule out team darts if it means saving a pub – that would be a public service!
So, yes, it’s more about the social side, definitely. My whole family plays, too (my wife reluctantly, I have to admit). But my daughter, Anna, is 22 and she’s a big darts fan. She loves playing and watching the sport. So does her generation – her boyfriend and her cousins all absolutely love playing darts.
I’m very proud sometimes when I can go out with my entire family – mine and the wife’s side – and we can spend an entire evening just playing darts and socialising. In the summer there can sometimes be 14 of us – straight up from the beach and onto the dartboard. Most of the 14 are under 25 years old. It’s based around social practice games usually, to get everyone involved and make it competitive. All of my nephews and nieces on both sides play, apart from a nephew, Matthew, who’s 4 and a niece, Jemma, who’s 9 and we hope they’ll come up through the ranks – but I fear for their future involvement if there are no dartboards.
DM: Tell us about the POD Brum campaign and your motivation to start it up?
JC: It came from the realisation that the pub dartboard was about to become an extinct species in our great city – and it’s happened over a very short time. We can’t let this happen to a great British sport. Participation at grass roots level has to be crucial to the sport.
In my ward only 6 years ago there were 10 dartboards in 9 pubs. But year by year, my darts mate Professor David Bailey (yes – professors play darts too!) and I have had to drift like refugees from one pub to another as the pubs or dartboards disappeared. Now there’s just one dartboard left in the entire ward. One other pub closed over the winter and that was what really made me think.
First, I want to raise the awareness level that this is happening. I think most pubgoers would not be happy. Even if you don’t play, it’s something you can recognise as part of British culture and British pub culture. Secondly, I want to get ordinary people becoming the eyes and ears to let the world know where the dartboards actually are that are left – and get them supported. Also, to identify where they have gone from and what’s there instead (cameraphones ready, please!). Also which unused or under-used areas they actually could go in!
I also want to make pubcos, proprietors and landlords aware of the importance of the dartboard (especially if they’ve got one in an area with very few) from a business point of view. If we could publicise where they are, they may very well get business.
I’m also a visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham Business School and want to make the business case for darts, too.
I also wanted to stop the default position on a pub refurbishment – that the dartboard goes.
There is a disconnect between pubcos and the general public about darts. The creative guys and girls (the refurbishment types) are not linked in to the reality of the ordinary world and, indeed, the business marketplace, I don’t think. Darts is actually big business. To cut out the Pub from that entire infrastructure is madness from a business point of view.
I would ideally like POD eventually to go national. So PODManc, PodCam, PodLive, PODGlas, PODSwan – all welcome to me. It’s a grassroots campaign. By the way, and to show this isn’t just a Labour thing, I think Prime Minister David Cameron played darts a lot when he was younger, so I may write to him to get him to join!
DM: Great stuff, here is the link for our readers to join the POD Brum facebook group.
According to Neil Elkes story in the Birmingham Evening Mail, Wetherspoons spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “There is no set policy. We have about 800 pubs and I can count on one hand those that have dartboards and darts teams. It is usually because the manager and customers are very keen. You evoked that response after you challenged Wetherspoons at a recent planning meeting to implement a darts board at their proposed Yardley Pub. Did that application receive approval? and if so, do you know if a board will be provided?
JC: Yes it did. It was a good application – it was turning a disused and derelict old Woolworths into a pub. So I obviously made my decision on a planning basis with my darts cap off.
But it’s rare to get an application to start a new pub – the story is about them closing down or changes of use. So I saw my opportunity and pounced on the issue of attaching a planning condition to add a dartboard. It was tongue-in-cheek in that I knew we couldn’t add such a condition (at the moment at least) but it raised some awareness and the pubco reps where there, too, so I had a captive audience! By the way the application was deliberately for a ‘Quiet’ pub (no music or amplified sound) which I also welcome. So the addition of the dartboard I thought would be great in that environment.
DM: I’m not the biggest fan of politics, and if your tie was blue there is a good chance we wouldn’t be having this conversation! However I have a suggestion…. that future decisions are decided by the throw of a dart! Nearest the bull perhaps? No? Ok I’ll move on…..
JC: Actually when there’s a tie in an election it’s decided in the UK by a turn of cards, or drawing straws or a coin toss – so, yes, let’s have a dartboard at every count!
DM: Having spent time in a fair few Wetherspoons in towns and cities throughout the UK, I would imagine that sadly (particularly in central areas and given the current binge drinking trend) offering drinkers a set of darts could result in all sorts of problems, would you agree?
JC: I’m not sure there’s that much in the way of a record of darts as weapons in pub aggro in the past or present and fearing a ‘pointy sharp thing’ is just ridiculous. Far more damage can be done by less pointy blunt things, I suspect. I’m sure a dart can be a dangerous weapon, but so can a chair. To be really dangerous you’d have to be accurate, have a superb wrist action and great follow through! Rare.
DM: True, there are pubs where it is suitable to have a board and for whatever reason they don’t, I guess it is these more community based type of pubs that you want to sit up and take notice of your campaign?
JC: Yes. I think there have been loads of local pubs where there’d actually be a bit more life in the place through preserving the dartboard and developing communal social games with a drink. Again, they should also be aware of the attraction of darts to younger members of the community – I honestly think Darts can be part of the solution, not the problem.
The rise of pub quiz in an interesting development (and admittedly may have had some impact on darts) but points to the lesson that people like a social gaming add-on in their pubs – and it brings people in.
DM: You also mentioned the popularity of darts, I believe in terms of spectator sports in the UK it is second only to football. Our new writer Mr Lenny Boyle recently wrote an article to reinforce that darts is actually a sport. Presumably as a player you subscribe to this theory?
JC: Definitely. It’s a activity that involves the same physical honing and excellence in the co-ordination of complex physical attributes that determines itself as a clear sport. I know it’s not the point, but I calculated how far I walked up and down the oche on an average night’s darts, by the way, and it was couple of miles – honest!
DM: Through your chosen career paths and work as a Birmingham Councillor you obvious have a desire to educate and provide opportunities, to that end are you aware of any Youth Darts initiatives in Birmingham? If not would you give your full support to anything that started up in the second city? Stockport College has a Darts Academy for 16-19 year olds and PDC player Steve Brown also runs his own under 16’s academy in Bristol, both of which I believe are very successful……
JC: I was born and brought up in Stockport and my dad used to be a lecturer at Stockport college, so I know all about that! I will look into replicating that provision here in Birmingham and I’m sure PODBRUM can help in that, and also help to identify where any youth provision is that I don’t know about at the moment. Again, we have to rid ourselves of the ‘sharp pointy thing’ issue – doesn’t seem to provide a problem with archery and javelin. I bet a lot of kids have a set of darts somewhere in their house or one of their relative’s houses, you know. Let’s get kids playing darts seriously. It’s a sport.
DM: Thanks for taking the time out to speak to use John and good luck with your campaign and your own darts. Would you like to take the DartsMad double 5? …10 quick fire questions, 5 darts related followed by 5 non darts? JC: OK
Darts used? – Anything from whatever’s in the car boot or glove compartment, but currently Unicorn – Sigma One 970 – 27g.
Favourite Double? – 19
Favourite venue? – Lakeside and the sadly demolished Golden Cup pub in Quinton
Favourite Player? – Coming from Stockport, the Silverback – Tony O’Shea! And Kirk Shepherd, the Martial Dartist from Birmingham!
Ideal Pro/Am partner? – Anastasia Dobromyslova
Favourite Band/Singer? – Show Of Hands
Favourite Food? – Italian
Favourite Drink? – Robinson’s Bitter
Jeremy Clarkson – perceptive or Prat? – Praceptive
Favourite Comedian? – Woody Allen
Editor’s note – whilst we would question the effectiveness of the thousands of Facebook campaigns that are out there, we admire any efforts to promote the sport we love and therefore urge you all to join the POD Brum Campaign.
In the meantime while we wait for the pubs to sort themselves out, don’t forget you can play online webcam darts from home against real players from all over the world at DartProLeague.com. Or why not pop down to your local Rileys and have a throw in one of their dedicated Dartszones.
Posted on June 17th, 2011
Chris Thompson June 2011
We bumped into PDC player Chris at the Reebok stadium during this years Speedy Hire UK Open, and he kindly agreed to our invitation of an interview.
DM: Let’s get the bad bit out the way first…you suffered an early exit in this years UK Open losing to Nigel Heydon, obviously extremely disappointing, how do you feel you performed?
CT: I got off to a poor start really…as did Nigel. I got it together in the 4th leg leaving 81 after 9 darts and Nigel took out 167. I don’t want to make excuses, but the players room was poor – 10 boards for 140 players, meant that I couldn’t get into a decent rhythm practicing, I am not the only player that has said that.
DM: Yes we stumbled into the players area on our way through to the press section and it looked ‘intimate’ to say the least, would you say that the UK Open has outgrown the Reebok? Or is it just a case of them needing to make better use of the available space?
CT: Far too many players in my opinion, and I don’t think players of mine and Nigel’s stature should have been in a prelim, however, I’ve heard a rumour that the finals of the UK Open will be in Bournemouth next year. Read the rest of this entry »
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